Over thirty years ago Ernest Pickering wrote on page ten in his book BIBLICAL SEPARATION that ‘A new generation of separatists has arisen.’ He was certainly correct then and the same can be said with more emphasis today. As Kent Brandenburg writes: ‘Movements even by definition have what we might call a “shelf life.” Movements come and go. The church isn’t a movement. The question then remains, were the underlying principles of the movement true or right? Fundamentalism started as a response to and stand against pervading institutional liberalism. The attack on scripture and its authority first met by biblical defense led to a necessary practice of separation. Thus began regular controversies over the grounds of separation. Sermons were preached, conferences were held, new associations were organized, and books were written that attempted to draw lines and set boundaries for the protection and the propagation of the truth. The ones constituted by fundamentalism were not scriptural. They chose arbitrary lines that constantly shifted one way or another, so that when someone did separate, it often seemed just political.
Fundamentalism is known for separation. It marks fundamentalism. Scriptural separation is not so difficult to understand. The Bible lays out what, why, and how in and for separation. Fundamentalism separates, but never practiced biblical separation. For that reason, the history of fundamentalism is one of confused and distorted separation. When I have defended fundamentalism, it is because it does separate over right doctrine and practice. Separation preserved fundamentalism and its erosion will also end it.
Was the separation of fundamentalism ever right? Fundamentalism taught it. They punished those who didn’t comply. Should fundamentalists have separated from John MacArthur as they once did? Some are saying, No. What is the juxtaposition of Carey Schmidt and John MacArthur? That doesn’t make any sense, and probably more for MacArthur than BJU. I’m not going to keep asking questions. First Baptist in Hammond has never repented over the theology of Jack Hyles. When it keeps up his statue, it accepts the non repentance over the other well-documented things. There are just too many issues and situations here to either unwind, wind back up, put back in the bottle, or whatever metaphor works.
I actually see a circle in my mind. It goes like this. You tell me if I’m wrong. I’m going to start with Jack Hyles. Jack Hyles – John Wilkerson – Kevin Schaal – Wayne Van Gelderen – Paul Chappell – Carey Schmidt – Bob Jones – Steve Pettit – Sam Horn – John MacArthur – Matt Redman – Hillsong and Bethel Music.
I’m not talking about degrees of separation: first, second, third degree. I’m talking about how any of this could fit together. It shouldn’t. For the sake of biblical doctrine of practice, for the sake of God Himself, someone should say, No. At some point, someone can’t cast a blind eye. There’s actually more than what I’ve written here, but this is all bad for quality control. Someone needs to do some explaining. Let me explain just a little.
Bob Jones separates from John MacArthur and now it doesn’t. A step needs to be taken. If you don’t believe in separation from MacArthur, then explain that from the Bible. If you are Bob Jones and you still believe in separation, then explain why the change. Explain why you were wrong before and you are right now. If not, then it looks like your feeder churches aren’t feeding enough, and you are just making a pragmatic move to increase the potential feed. I could say the same thing for why the girls are now wearing tight blue jeans on campus. That was wrong too at one time, but now isn’t. People can remember these things.
There are a lot of differences between these various groups of people. Is anyone right in all this? I don’t believe any of them are right. Some are better than others, but all of them are wrong. Bob Jones and all of these others are being tested for the practice of the doctrine of separation. I would be interested in their explanation for how they are obeying the Bible in doing what they are doing.’ https://kentbrandenburg.blogspot.com/